Renaissance in Europe


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Renaissance in Europe

  1. 1. 1Renaissance in Europe RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION IN EUROPE Renaissance in Europe (Faculty of Social Sciences - Department of Media & Communication Studies)
  2. 2. 2Renaissance in Europe RENAISSANCE IN EUROPE INTRODUCTION Throughout the history of mankind, human technology and culture has experienced many advancements and setbacks. As a civilization rises, new technologies are developed, as well as new types of music, art and literature. Then, years, decades, or even centuries later, as that same civilization begins to decline, many of these technologies and arts are lost. During the Middle Ages, much of the great advancements made by the Greeks and the Romans had been forgotten due to the decline of living conditions in Western Europe. People went from living comfortable lives with good jobs and educations, to living in very poor conditions, where there was constant turmoil, war, poverty and hunger. This time period is known as the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages lasted for hundreds of years, as many generations of individuals lived and died in these terrible conditions. Then, in the mid 1300s A.D., things slowly began to improve. People began again to discover the arts and technologies of the Romans and Greeks, making life a little easier. We call this period of time the Renaissance. The Renaissance began around 1350 A.D. in Italy, and continued until about 1600 A.D. RENAISSANCE The term 'renaissance' is derived from the French word meaning 'rebirth'. The period of European history referred to as the Renaissance, spanned from the 14th to the 16th centuries, was a time of great social and cultural change in Europe. The Renaissance was a time of great social and cultural change in Europe. It was a period characterized by innovation, imagination and creativity. The Renaissance was also a time during which Europe's classical past was revisited and reinvigorated. BEGINNING OF RENAISSANCE Italy The European Renaissance began in Northern Italy in the 14th century. The Tuscan city of Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. Gradually, the movement spread from Italy to other parts of Europe.
  3. 3. 3Renaissance in Europe Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance for many reasons. First of all, since Italy was the center of ancient Roman history, it was natural for the Renaissance to start there. Some things such as architectural remains, antique statues, coins and inscriptions reminded Italians of the glory of the Roman Empire. Secondly, Italy was different from the rest of Europe in another way. During the Middle Ages, many people in Europe lived in terrible conditions. They believed that life was supposed to be difficult, and that they should not expect to have any comforts. As the Italians learned about the old Roman and Greek ways, they began to believe, as the ancients had, that life should be rich and as comfortable as possible. They believed that a person should seek talents and skills, and that they should work to increase their standard of living, and the standards of living around them. Humanism The practice of studying ancient works by the Romans and Greeks became known as humanism. Those who studied these classical works became known as humanists. These humanists became popular throughout Italy in the mid 1300s A.D. Humanism was an intellectual movement that was at the heart of the Italian Renaissance. It put an emphasis on man, his intellect, and his life on earth. It also stated that the Church shouldn't rule certain matters and it rediscovered ancient items, thoughts, and beliefs. Humanist scholars hoped to use their wisdom to increase their understanding of their own times. New and important literary works were published in the languages of the people, helping to spread ideas throughout Europe more quickly. Florence The city-state of Florence in Italy was the location where the Italian Renaissance began. Florence was very much like ancient Athens because it produced a great number of talented poets, artists, architects, scholars, and scientists in a short period of time. Rome By the early 1500s A.D., Florence began to decline. Political unrest and uprisings had led to a loss of power and wealth. In the city-state of Rome, power was held by the Pope and other leaders of the Catholic Church. Many of the Renaissance Popes who ruled the city of Rome used their influence to try and rebuild the city to its former glory. These Popes acted more like kings than religious leaders. By laying heavy taxes on their people, they were able to build magnificent churches, palaces and other public and private buildings.
  4. 4. 4Renaissance in Europe They used tax money to hire artists and sculptors to create thousands of art pieces to fill the new buildings they had created. They also amassed a massive collection of literary works from ancient Greece and Rome, as well as contemporary works, which they stored in a library in the Vatican. This library attracted scholars from all over the world. As a result of these efforts by the popes and other church leaders in Rome, their city attracted many who had been in Florence, thus becoming the center of the Italian Renaissance. Venice By the late 1500s A.D., the center of the Renaissance in Italy began to shift from Rome to the wealthier city-state of Venice. Venice quickly became world famous for the high quality of art and literature that they were producing. The Northern Renaissance By the late 1400s A.D., the Renaissance was in full swing in the Italian Peninsula. As a result of the Renaissance, the Italian economy had grown stronger, and the living standards of those in the region had been greatly improved. As other people in Western Europe visited Italy, they became fascinated with their ways of life, their culture, art, literary works, and customs. In 1494 A.D., the French invaded Italy. They brought a number of Italian artists and scholars back to France. Among them was an artist by the name of Leonardo DaVinci. The French hired these artists to paint beautiful masterpieces for their palaces and public buildings. They hired the scholars to teach their children and improve their educations. Soon many other monarchies, including the English, Spanish, Germany, and even as far away as the Netherlands, were actively employing humanists in their courts to help improve life. They adopted many of the beliefs of the humanists in Italy, but also modified them to suit their own needs and circumstances. The English Renaissance One of the last places to be reached by the Renaissance was the English countryside. England was locked in a bloody civil war known as the War of the Roses. In the late 1400s A.D., this civil war ended, and the Tudor family began to rule the nation. The newly enthroned King Henry VII invited Italian humanists to join his court and teach his people. The Renaissance in England focused much more on literary works than in other areas. One of the most famous playwrights during this time period was a man named William
  5. 5. 5Renaissance in Europe Shakespeare. Shakespeare wrote immensely popular plays that were attended by thousands of people. ARTS AND ARCHITECTURE The Renaissance was a golden age in the arts and architecture. There were numerous achievements of works of art that are still very famous today. Many outstanding artists and architects such as Isabella d'Este of Mantua, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sofonisba Anguissola, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Filippo Brunelleschi showed their uniqueness and creativity through what they did. Paintings of the Renaissance used unnatural shapes, linear prospective, and depth perception. WRITINGS Writing was also very important during the Renaissance. Two famous books that were written during this time period were The Book of the Courtier and The Prince. The Book of the Courtier, a book about ideal men and women, was written by Baldassare Castiglione. The Prince was written by Niccolò Machiavelli and was information from Machiavelli's personal experience of politics and his knowledge of the past. It was offered as a guide to rulers on how to gain and maintain power. CAUSES FOR RENAISSANCE IN EUROPE The Middle Ages of European history was a time characterized by conformism. People who displayed creativity or diverged (moved away) from established methods of thinking and behaving, were often punished or outcast from society. The early Middle Ages were a time of fear in Europe and many people believed that mythical creatures existed in an underworld. The world was thought to consist of only three continents, and the Earth, not the Sun, was considered to be the centre of the solar system. Many of these medieval beliefs were proven untrue during the Renaissance. Until the Renaissance, most Europeans followed the teachings of Catholicism because they had little exposure to any form of education beyond this. Science was not a well-understood concept and very little of what the Church taught people about life was challenged. Those who spoke out against the Church were accused of heresy and labeled a heretic (someone who holds unorthodox beliefs). Heretics were often subject to extremely severe punishments, such as being tortured or burned at the stake in front of the townspeople.
  6. 6. 6Renaissance in Europe During the Renaissance, however, things started to change. The 14th through to the 16th centuries in Europe were a period of questioning and discovery. People started to think independently and experiment with new ideas and concepts. As more and more advancements were made in the arts and sciences, the Catholic Church began to lose the overwhelming power and influence it had once held over people's beliefs about the world. CONCLSUION The Renaissance was very important because it brought Europe out of the abyss that it was in. It inspired new ideas, cultures, religions, and ways to live by. The Renaissance helped people change the way that they saw themselves, others, and their world. It helped many people express their uniqueness and creativity by art, science, writing, and technology. During the Renaissance many art works and writings became famous and some we still use or see today. Arts and writing weren't the only thing that we still use today, mathematical advances, discoveries, and theorems are still applied presently. Other things like the printing press; maps, compasses, medicines, and the scientific method still play an important role in our life.